Perpetual Change — “Chaos And Lace” Debut Album Review

| Aug 29, 2011
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Back in June of this year, the New York City band Chaos & Lace was the featured interview for this column.  At that time, band leader Juliana Brown mentioned that Chaos & Lace was starting work on their debut album soon.

Well, the project is done and can be accessed online at Sound Cloud.  That link can also be found on the band’s Facebook page.

Besides Brown who is the chief song writer as well as lead vocalist and lead guitarist, the band consists of: Ashley Morgan, bass; Pookie Rodriquez, rhythm guitar; and drummer Vincent Alva.

Back when Brown had another band known as The Cruel Shoes, she managed to establish a reputation as an accomplished guitarist on the local NYC  scene. Granted, all I had to go on as a reviewer was the “word of mouth” buzz I found in more than one interview and review of her work while I was doing research.

On the Chaos & Lace debut project, she not only lives up to that reputation, but pretty much proves she’s not lacking for creative chops and awareness of the sound texture a talented player can get from a guitar.

The Show leads off the 8 tunes on the project.  Lyrically, the chorus could have more than one meaning:

Everybody wants to see a show
Leaving all your pictures on the ground
Everybody wants to see a show
They’ll hate you and try to keep you down.

It’s possible that Brown is talking about the fickleness of acceptance from people who only want to use you for their entertainment, be it as a musician or as a trans person.  Hard to say, but what Brown doesn’t do is belabor the trans issue.   More on that later.

Overall, the lead off track contains great guitar playing.  Brown doesn’t stay with one tone quality throughout the song, and that alone makes it interesting.

The next tune is the 18 minute saga of The Fourth Wall This is extremely instrumentally ambitious and gives Alva a shot at a drum solo that’s well worth a listen. Brown is definitely not the only virtuoso in Chaos & Lace. While the overall feel of the tune is heavier, it’s reminiscent of early English progressive bands.

This affection for old school musicality is also found in All Your Left Toes, which probably has the best mix on the project, with some of the best bass work on the project as well.

The closing track, Peace Of Mind, is once again an old school tribute, which (to me at least) sounds reminiscent of The Doors earliest work, and also maybe just a bit of a nod to Mott The Hoople.

While the Chaos & Lace debut project is definitely Brown’s guitar jam fest, it’s refreshing to hear someone actually PLAY their instrument for a change and not rely on endless samples — and THANK GOD! — no rap inserted somewhere just for the heck of it.  The fact that Brown and bass player Morgan are both transgendered doesn’t seem to enter into the music.  I don’t know about their live shows, having never seen them, but obviously the focus is the music and not the trans issue. And that, dear readers, is as it should be.

Chaos & Lace can also be found on


StormMiguel Florez

StormMiguel Florez has taken part in the pilot episode of a documentary/reality type show called TransBeats. Artists featured along with Florez include Shawna Viagro, Angelica Ross, D’Loco Kid, and Mina Caputo.  The hope is that the producers will be successful in shopping this to a network.

Florez is also still actively promoting his last project Long Lost Sun, through his website as well as ReverbNation, MySpace, and Facebook.

Cyndi Lauper is set to release a live concert DVD entitled To Memphis, With Love, on Oct. 25th.  Taped at The Warehouse in Memphis, it includes performances by Allen Toussaint, Tracey Nelson, and Johnny Lang, and features music from her widely acclaimed 2010 album Memphis Blues.  (…and of course, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is on the project).  In other news, Lauper will be touring this fall with the legendary Dr. John.

Calpernia Addams

Calpernia Addams has posted two new videos on YouTube.  One of her singing She’s A Star, and the other is Cal playing auto harp.  Very interesting stuff.

Singer/songwriter Beth Isbell has new videos posted as well.  There is one of just Beth doing a crowd sing-a-long on her song Ruby (and it’s raunchy, so be warned), and there are several with her new band, BeThisBell.  You can also find her by searching on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter.

That’s it for this month…thanks for your indulgence.

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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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